3 Truths About Salesforce and Account Planning

     

truths about salesforce and account planning.jpgWith more than 100,000 customers using Salesforce globally, it’s safe to say the platform is the world's most popular customer relationship management (CRM) system. This should come as no surprise. The tool is used by savvy medtech sales professionals literally every day. The CRM system increases revenue. It automates the tedious tasks that sales professionals face. And it provides teams with copious amounts of invaluable customer insight.

Despite its capabilities, however, Salesforce requires some effort to optimize. Account planning is a valuable sales motion that maximizes revenue—but the process is often completed outside of Salesforce with disjointed apps and manual procedures.

Complex buyers and groups, less time with buyers, and global competition… this all sounds familiar, right? These reasons have made it more difficult than ever to sell medtech solutions. So, why make your job any harder than it already is?

Read more to understand some truths about Salesforce and account planning.

Account planning is a process traditionally completed outside of Salesforce.

Account planning is an invaluable sales process. But it’s traditionally completed with disjointed apps and manual processes. While there are numerous account planning approaches—including PowerPoint, Excel, and third party apps—these require integration with different user interfaces. This has left teams to piecemeal strategies together, resulting in a fragmented user experience and lost opportunities.

These outdated approaches simply don't optimize the value of account planning, or Salesforce. With native apps, strategic account planning turns this process on its head by empowering teams to accomplish goals within an account. It evaluates which accounts are essential to a company's growth. And it enables sales teams to hit their targets in an increasingly complex, challenging sales environment.

Account planning should help discover what you know—and what you don’t.

Account planning coordinates internal sales efforts to prepare for future accounts. And it provides a comprehensive overview of current customers. However, in order to understand account planning, it’s essential to uncover as much as possible about your customers, competitors, and your company.

To beat your competition, you must understand their offerings, in addition to your own. While Salesforce can help capture important information, it’s essential to know what to track. Uncovering the unknown isn’t all smoke and mirrors. To help, ask yourself the following questions about prospects:

  • What are their business goals and expectations?
  • What is their buying process?
  • What are their desired solutions?
  • How many business units do they have?

Evaluating prospects requires a little introspection (and honesty!). It’s important to place an equal emphasis on positive and negative sentiments. Leveraging data within Salesforce helps teams gain a comprehensive overview of their current situation. However, using efficient, reliable resources enables you to spend more time analyzing valuable data.

Account planning is an ongoing process.

Keeping your plan current is just as important as your initial development efforts. How so? Customers change—and it’s important to update your plans accordingly. So, adapting to new situations ensures that your plan is tailored around each account’s potential and your customer’s priorities. Tracking news and social insights can help teams capitalize on trends. And at all times, it’s important to consider the following:

  • What does your customer care about?
  • What is your customer counting on to grow or improve?
  • Who are the leaders within your customer’s organization?

Aligning executives, product teams, marketing teams, and extended sales teams around goals and objectives shows the influence and impact of team members. Identifying key risk factors and defining parameters and priorities help teams coordinate around activities. And aligning teams around key objectives helps prioritize activities and tasks—so you can promote revenue growth or support other key performance indicators.

Making sure your Salesforce and account planning efforts are synched around actionable items enables you to track progress. It also increases accountability. Make this an ongoing process with quarterly conference calls so that you can see how the actions are going and re-evaluate the key activities.

A seamless Salesforce account planning process gets better results. 

Salesforce’s CRM capabilities propels customers through the majority of the marathon that is account planning. But enabling your sales teams with apps that help them plan their content will launch them across the finish line. Salesforce offers a multitude of apps in their AppExchange. However, while these non-native apps may sound great in theory, they often require integration into your systems and processes. And often, teams don’t have the technical know-how to integrate these solutions.

For account planning to be effective and efficient, it must be native—not integrated—to Salesforce. It must be seamless to end users so that running account plans becomes part of their day-to-day. In doing so, teams can clearly understand responsibilities, updates, and progress of accounts.

The best software is designed for sales teams to make the most of Salesforce. These native apps fill the gaps and unlock the value of Salesforce in CRM. End to end, platforms enable medtech sales teams to plan, execute, and adapt key account plans more effectively and efficiently—and with better outcomes. Outmaneuver your competition, accelerate and automate your efforts, and increase your bottom line with these native, cloud-based solutions.

Sales Enablement Med Device Marketers

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